New Ulm Public Schools

Learning for fun ...
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Washington Learning Center

910 14th St N • New Ulm, MN 56073
507-233-8300 • Fax: 507-233-8301
Attendance: 507-233-8309
Principal: Dawn Brown

Welcome to Washington Learning Center

The Washington Learning Center is home to learners of all ages. ECFE, preschool, kindergarten, and Community Education fill our building along with external programs such as Head Start.

We look to offer inclusive preschool and kindergarten programs that are not only based on national and state academic standards, but play based learning and outdoor environmental experiences.

The children experience the P.L.A.Y. room (Purposeful play that enhances Language development and Academic skills for all Young learners). Albert Einstein stated, “Play is the highest form of research.” This quote is the philosophy behind the development of a P.L.A.Y. room for the children enrolled at Washington. The P.L.A.Y. room will be a creative, engaging, and flexible space designed to develop children’s love of learning, self esteem and self worth, cooperation, build curiosity, problem solve, learn about the world around them, and problem solve. In the P.L.A.Y. room the children will engage in a variety of forms of play including large and small motor, mastery, rules based, construction, make believe, symbolic, language, arts, sensory, rough and tumble, and risk taking. The experience is designed to offer daily play experiences and socio-dramatic interactions that would enhance and improve language development and mathematical reasoning along with differentiated learning to meet individual needs.

The outdoor learning environment will provide all Early Childhood (EC), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), kindergarten, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), and Head Start programs with a unique innovative educational experience. An outdoor learning environment is an extension of the indoor classroom that provides unique opportunities for learning and enrichment for children of all ages. An outdoor learning environment would provide a unique opportunity for the students to learn in nature and includes a full range of activities including those that cannot be replicated within the indoor classroom. The outdoor learning environment offers a balance of areas for physical activity and for less active play/learning. Some of the benefits include expanded opportunities for the use of language, problem­ solving, and communications skills. Opportunities to teach and reinforce science and math concepts, integration of multiple learning styles, opportunities to strengthen cooperative play/learning, physical development, as well as increases in attention, planning and organization skills. It also provides unique opportunities for child initiated learning experiences and activities that are aligned to children’s interests, which lays the foundation for our district’s vision: A leader in education through engaging and innovative programs and support structures.

Watch for the exterior and interior spaces of Washington Learning Center, gardens and natural learning spaces to continually change and be developed. We are very excited to offer an educational experience that is unique and designed to focus on the whole child in an experiential educational setting.

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